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Gregoire Spending Spree

Published:07/25/2008 Opinion
Gregoire Spending Spree     Print Snohomish Times    
Gregoire Spending Spree

Another way to think of the in-depth, front-page coverage from the Seattle Times on the spendthrift ways of Christine Gregoire's governorship:

Spending increases under Gregoire have been crazy big, though not nearly as insane as periods of Democratic governance gone by, thanks in no small part to current Speaker Frank Chopp's obsession with protecting every single seat in his near super-majority caucus.

Despite attempts by Gregoire and their allies to defend this turn of events, the following passage from the article says it all:

[Gregoire] considers the money for I-728 and I-732, another initiative approved by voters in 2000 that requires annual raises for teachers pegged to inflation, to be mandatory cost increases.

"I'm not one who disregards the voice of the people," she said.

State workers, she said, also went too long without raises and needed to catch up. Plus the state had to start putting more money into its employee pension system.

But the governor and Democratic-controlled Legislature did not stop there. They also expanded programs, started new ones and said they wanted to spend even more in the future, including paid family leave, a sales-tax credit for low-income families, and increased access to health care for children.

[Steve] Mullin, with the Washington Roundtable, said they simply went too far.

"We applaud the fact that she's tried to prioritize resources in the areas we think are most important to grow the economy," Mullin said. But he added, "We think it's become clear that the significant increase in state spending over the past four years is simply not sustainable."

But don't worry, Gregoire's administration won't even acknowledge the budget problem exists. Surely that bodes well for the future.

Content originally posted in slightly revised format at Sound Politics.

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